That girl from Jacaranda FM: Into the life of Danny Painter

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By: Jemma Pringle

The East Rand seems to be cooking up many celebrities other than Charlize Theron, Jacaranda FM’s very own Danny Painter (37) was born in Springs, and now has tons of listeners who know her name all over Gauteng. Probably all over the world considering some of the most incredible interviews she has had with many familiar American faces.

How did this star find her footing in the media world? How does her growing success look like tons of work yet so much fun? Well, because the media industry is where she always envisioned she would be, and having a passion for what you do is where everyone should start.

“I always wanted to be on tv, I was obsessed with KTV and being a presenter. Sandy, my mom, enrolled me into drama classes at around four or five and I walked onto a stage for the first time at six years-old. I ended up at this time wanting to act and not present, but by 16 I was scouted for Kids TV and left the theatre world behind!

Danny began her radio presenting passion at Ekurhuleni FM. She went through Chai FM, Rock 91.9, back to Ekurhuleni FM and two weekends on YFM before arriving at Jacaranda FM, “where I intend to stay for as long as they’ll have me!”

Celebrating at a wrap party for a tv show she had just concluded at that time, Elana Africa Bredenkamp, one of the shows presenters, asked her where she was going to next.

“At that stage I was unsure, and she suggested I get into radio. I didn’t pursue it then, as the next week I was on another tv show. But she planted a seed that definitely grew because ten years later I went to Ekurhuleni FM and asked for a job!”

Now, a day to day – or the norm as one would call it – for Danny looks like this, “I am up at 07.30/08.00 am then COFFEE. Emails and admin, booking requests, quotes. Around 12 I spend some analogue time with my dogs, throwing ball, training, walking, swimming – I have six adopted Border Collies and they require a lot of work! At four if I’m home I will make dinner for Phil and I, and then at six I am in studio ready to start my show on Jacaranda FM! After my show I generally have podcasts, I record voice overs, and more than likely an interview or two as I work across three time zones at the moment.”

Although this incredibly busy day described above is her basic norm, every day can still be vastly different.

“Some days I have back-to-back meetings and some days I have nothing. The only things that are standard are time with my dogs and my husband, everything else is adjustable! I’m normally in bed at around 01.00 am. Before it all starts again!”

As everyone can see, Danny always has something going on, “I can’t reveal too much right now, but I have two big projects in the pipeline for the latter part of 2022!”

We are in the same boat as everyone else, wearing our patient yet excited pants, because when we asked Danny what her proudest achievements are, we received a further intriguing response.

“I think these are still coming!”

HOW EXCITING! We personally cannot wait to see what is up next for this all-rounder. One thing we do know, is that when she isn’t working, she is reading everything, in her spare time!

“I always have and always will think reading is a form of escape! I also love to lift weights and I have actually turned my bar into a gym recently! Lifting heavy makes my head calm, it stops the noise and for those 30 to 40 minutes it’s just me and my bar. I also have a veggie garden that my puppy (Ziggy) loves to help me with.”

Danny’s mother Sandy Ngwenya is an events manager and recording studio owner who married popular radio personality and DJ, DJ Choc. Her uncle is DJ Zan-D and her sister is the popular amapiano performer, Lady Du.

Danny married Philip in 2007 and together they are fur-parents to six rescue border collies!

“My family are loud, mad, and crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way! My Collies, mostly from Border Collie Rescue, are Stitch (15), Bubbles (13), Roxy (9), Chaser (3), Flea (2), Ziggy (7 months) and Kelly, a Great Dane who is 10! They bring me endless joy! And are always training, learning, and teaching each other! I love my dogs more than I love pretty much anything in the world!”

Having an incredible and supportive family, having endless amounts of animals to keep you warm, working within your passion and living life everyday to its fullest – are just some of the things Danny lives by, but one thing she does know, is that life can and will, still, sometimes be hard. So, if you’re looking at getting into the world of MEDIA, make sure to take some notes.

“It’s a lot less glamor than it looks. Sometimes you’re so tired you want to cry, or so sick you’re half dead in the car on the way to work. Sometimes it’s hard. Having said that, it’s always a blessing and it’s always fun, but it’s definitely not all the lights and gifts we see on Instagram! I also think that everyone needs to know how much of you will belong to other people and that I would definitely recommend a therapist or at the very least a solid foundation that will keep you both grounded and talk you off of ledges when social media gets dark! Be kind to everyone, this is an incredibly small industry in South Africa and people move and talk. They will remember you and chances are you will work with or for someone you have worked with or for in the past. Build relationships, don’t get involved in the politics and never ever stop moving and growing your show.”

This is Danny’s fifth year at Jacaranda FM, and she has never been happier.

“I have never felt more like part of the family! I have an incredible PM Hennie Myburg, who allows me the space to try new things and grow as a presenter. Along with the entire team, from programming to finance and everything in between, we are a family, we genuinely support each other, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”

Give Danny Painter a follow on her social media platforms, to avoid missing out on any of her new ventures.




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